Early on Wednesday, a Jordanian man who was charged with murdering his wife in an "honor killing," was sentenced to 10 years in jail, Ro'ya news site reported.
According to reports, the man's sentence was reduced from 20 years, after the victim's family dropped their "personal right" in the case.
During interrogations, the husband said he and his wife had recently moved back to Jordan from Saudi Arabia when she ran away from home.
He thought he'd find her at her aunt's house and so went to search for her there.
When he arrived at the house, he spotted his wife, her aunt and an unidentified man standing at the door. His wife then walked out with the man and he followed them to a wooded area located near Burqush forests.
Angered by the fact that his wife was talking to a man in a secluded area, he immediately attacked her, strangling her with her own scarf and then burning her body.
Soon after the murder, the man called his wife's family asking if they'd seen her and even helped them look for her.
4 days after the murder, the man filed a "missing person" report with police, who later found the woman's body and identified her as the victim.
10 years for murder? The reduced sentence explained...
In an interview with StepFeed earlier this year, Hala Abu Ajam, an activist at "Where do we stand?" (Ayn Naqif,) an NGO fighting to end honor crimes in Jordan, explained how men who commit them often get reduced sentences.
"When a citizen is murdered (in any crime even if not related to honor), the victim's 'personal' right is immediately transferred to that victim's family," she said.
"When we talk about an 'honor' crime, the perpetrator and the victim usually hail from the same family and this is why more often than not we see families forsaking the victim's right - something that effectively reduces the perpetrator's sentence," she added.
Abu Ajam also told us about the country's 1954 Crime Prevention Law (also known as protective detention).
This law allows for the imprisonment of women who are at risk of being murdered by their families or those who have survived murder attempts.
"We're talking about hundreds of women, lawyers, teachers, even doctors, who are incarcerated because they are at risk of being murdered," Abu Ajam said.
Honor killings... still a major issue
Honor killings, or crimes committed against women who are "seen as having transgressed social codes of honor," are still a major problem in several Arab countries, including Jordan.
According to Human Rights Watch, the country registers an estimated 15 to 20 "honor" killings each year.
However, Abu Ajam also explained that in reality, the number is much higher than what is often recorded.
"Published statistics aren’t always accurate, as most 'honor' crime cases do not reach courts and aren’t officially recorded. This is because in most areas of the country (mainly outside of the capital, Amman) the people who commit such crimes often bury the victim's body in a remote location before an investigation is even launched. If and when police are notified, most perpetrators often claim that the victim had committed suicide," she said.
Earlier this year, Jordan's parliament finally amended a controversial article that previously allowed "honor" criminals to get reduced penalties.
The amendment still requires approval from the country's upper house, which is commonly regarded as a mere formality.
While the decision is considered a step in the right direction, activists note that honor crimes will continue to be a major issue in the country until all legal loopholes are tackled.